The latest Astro Beer Hall goes big on its astronaut theme, bringing “Launchpad” espresso martinis, arcade favorites like Space Invaders and Pac-Man, and a doughnut-making robot to Arlington.
The Village at Shirlington’s new 14,000-square-foot destination for beer, doughnut, and fried chicken (4001 Campbell Avenue) is a collaboration between between the owners of Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken and Tin Shop (the bar minds behind Penn Social, Highline RxR, Franklin Hall, Clubhouse, and TallBoy).
The anticipated follow-up of the 4-year-old original in downtown D.C. opens on Tuesday, September 19 with a to-go counter serving decadent doughnuts, breakfast sandwiches, and freshly brewed Compass Coffee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. An adjoining beer hall does dine-in service for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, with weekend brunch dropping in a few weeks. A 140-seat patio claiming to be the largest in Shirlington can swing open to the interior via 18-foot rolling doors.
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken chef Chris Kujala sends out a familiar lineup of hot chicken sandwiches, cheesesteaks, and pimento cheese dip and biscuits, joined by an expanded bar menu full of deviled eggs, fried pickles, loaded tots, and more. Nine types of fried-to-order cake doughnuts are made by a robot that’s visible from the street.
Along with 20 large-screen TVs airing all sorts of sporting events, diners can entertain themselves over Skee-ball, Asteroids, Ms. Pacman, and Pop-A-Shot basketball. A basement pool hall will arrive in the coming months.
Astro Beer Hall’s underlying cosmic theme also makes its way onto the menu. New additions include a hefty “Astronomic” burger and “Satellite Sampler Tower” featuring loaded fries, deviled eggs, fried mac and cheese, chicken fingers and wings, cheeseburger sliders, and fried pickles.
Other highlights include an “Astro Shot” — a Nutella-coated yeasted doughnut filled with a shot of Compass Coffee espresso and steamed milk — and a Buffalo chicken and Belgian waffle sandwich served with a fried egg and honey butter. Weekends call for homemade Brioche cinnamon rolls slathered with a cream cheese glaze.
Behind the bar, 24 tap lines pour brews from local and independently-owned breweries. Cocktails include a cinnamon-spiced Launchpad espresso martini, a rum-spiked Rocket Queen with pineapple and mint, an Apollo Paloma, and two frozen flavors at a time. Weekday happy hour (4 p.m. to 6 p.m.) shaves $2 off beers and cocktails.